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Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds Audible – Unabridged

4.8 out of 5 stars 737 customer reviews

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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I know that unless you were there yourself, it is impossible to understand what those in the book were really going through, but this description of battle is spine-tingling never-the-less.

I have read several books concerning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the first part of this book I would rate about average with those others. However, once the main battle starts, this book is simply amazing. It describes in vivid, harrowing detail the battle raging around the author and those around him. It makes one wonder how any one survived the battle.

When I started the book, I would read a bit, put it down and read some more later. But once the description of the battle started, I didn't put the book down until the end. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and if those involved were going to survive. The writing and description of what was going on was excellent. I could picture the scene in my head as if it were a movie.

This book gave me a much greater appreciation of, and a greater respect of, what our servicemen are going through. What I liked about the book the most is that we see the battle though the eyes of the author as he was directly involved in the battle. We see what he is seeing, feel what he is feeling, and get to know what he was thinking when making decisions. This is a book about how the battle was fought by individual men and how it affected them. It is personal, written by one was being shot at, not by one directing a war effort miles away.

I would give the book a 3 star rating for the first part as the author gives us a general idea of what was going on, what he had done before and the people involved. But once the battle starts, I give the book a double 5 rating, so that brings the total star rating up to 5.

This book is just plain excellent in presenting the personal view of a battle from the eyes of one man.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lately, we as a country have seemed to forget that we have a war going on in Afghanistan. Once in a while you hear a story on the news about a coalition death, but by and large the media, and the country, have focused on other things.

"Lions of Kandahar" serves as a sobering reminder of what the human cost of the War on Terror really is. These events are not some distant event you read about in the history books: the battle for Sperwan Ghar took place less than five years ago. Author Rusty Bradley is still in the Special Forces (so far, the only active-duty SF soldier ever allowed to write a book with the backing of the Army), about to start his fourth rotation in Afghanistan. And since the battle did not get the media attention it probably deserved, when you pick up the book it is not a foregone conclusion who will win the battle.

A first-person account, the book describes the war in vivid, often excruciating, detail. The first half of the book covers Bradley with his unit beginning his tour. The action is somewhat slow in building but provides a fascinating glimpse into a world few of us can imagine. Once the team arrives at the valley, though, the book turns into the literary equivalent of the D-Day scene in "Saving Private Ryan" - a harrowing, no-details spared account of a group of soldiers taking on a vastly overwhelming foe.

Not for the sensitive ears, faint of heart or those who cannot read a book by an author with differing opinions (Bradley does his best to make the book apolitical, but his own opinions are understandably very strong), "Lions of Kandahar" is a fascinating read that reminds us that foreign policy is much more than a policy, that war is hell and that there are real people behind the statistics. I, for one, have a profound new respect for our Special Forces.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Lions of Kandahar" describes the most important battle we've never heard about until now, one in which a few dozen American special forces and Afghan allies saved overall U.S. and N.A.T.O. efforts in Afghanistan from disaster in 2006. Writing this a few days after the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of a similar team of Navy SEALS, I find myself thankful we have such special forces heroes on our side in our continuing troubles.

The mission of this book is described as follows: "My team was tasked to 'clean out' the Taliban and foreign fighters, mitigate their influence, reinstate local, legitimate governance, and assist in the reconstruction and security of an underdeveloped urban area the size of Rhode Island. This Herculean task was given to ten men."

In the course of the book we come to know these incredibly-heroic men, and the answers to such questions as why they fight. "My family is why I fight, but it's hard for them to understand the reason I had to travel thousands of miles away to do it." To some extent, we also come to know their enemy. "Their ideology does not value their own people, except as sacrifices for their cause."

The battle itself pits the best of the best American warriors, using advanced equipment and aerial support (a la the Jetsons) against much larger Taliban and foreign forces (the Flintstones) using cheap but effective older weapons and communications technology. We also see, once again, how overly-restrictive rules of engagement nearly lose the day against opponents who respect no such rules.

The history leading up to the pivotal battle is detailed and interesting. No punches are pulled in describing prior failures and opposition that led to the battle and almost to its loss.
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